When navigating your way upstream on the Thames you will encounter your first lock at Teddington. It is at this point where the tidal section of the Thames ends and the non-tidal section starts. Teddington is a complex of three locks and a weir first built in 1810.
At Teddington the legal powers of the Port of London Authority (PLA), the navigation authority downstream to the North Sea, and those of the Environment Agency (EA), upstream towards Lechlade, come together. This is marked nearby by an obelisk on the Surrey bank. The weir named Teddington Weir marks the river's usual tidal limit and is the lowest on the Thames.
This lock is the lowest full-tide lock and second lowest of all-tide locks on the Thames.
Periodically river access will be restricted or closed for all river traffic due to maintenance works or incidents that may have occurred.
Thinking of taking your boat out? Check the current river conditions before you set off with this useful environment agency link.
This link details the service commitment that you should expect from the Environment Agency (EA) whilst on the river Thames.
This link shows the PBA's Emergency Rendezvous Points (RVPs) for the River Thames between Teddington and Lechlade
From a river length review carried out by Thames Water in 1982 the concept of having user groups was mooted. The objective was to allow users to have a say in the way the river was being used and act as a conduit to Thames Water from the users – all users not necessarily just boaters.
There had already been in existence a small liaison group to avoid congestion on the water between Teddington and Kingston Bridge.
Michael Shefras who at the time was the Honorary Secretary of the Thames Motor Yacht Club formed RUG8 in 1983 and the Upper Thames Yacht Club between Cookham and Marlow formed another RUG6 at about the same time. Harry Fountain, the then deputy chair of ATYC took upon himself to set up the other six groups and eventually RUG 1 & 2 combined and RUG 4 & 5 also combined. This led to the introduction and formation of 8 River User Groups covering the non tidal Thames between Teddington to Lechlade.
Both National Rivers Authority and subsequently Environment Agency understood the value of these groups and continued to support them.
The RUG Chair now sit as members of the EA Thames Navigation User’s Panel and through this also sit on the Thames User Group (Navigation) the users overarching coordinating body.
The River Users Groups' terms of the reference, agreed with the Environment Agency (EA), are to:
The groups' constitutions require them to have:
The Environment Agency (EA) has pledged to support all reasonable administrative costs incurred by the RUGs.
The RUG chairs are 'ex officio' members of the `Thames Users Navigation Forum which meets two or three times a year at the EA offices in Reading and is chaired by the EA Area Manager - West Thames. The individual RUGs work very close with the EA's Waterways Team based at Shepperton Lock.